27 September 2012
“Nature of Parties” Expository Process Essay
In the essay “The Nature of Parties” author James J. Farrell thoroughly explains the average college student’s partying habits. He explores the leading factors to student partying, while explaining what he has learned from his college students who are presently familiar with the lifestyle. In the essay, Farrell is trying to understand the reasoning for why college is a time in every person’s life that partying is so vital. He states, “College as the student’s saw it was also about coming of age” it is where students begin to grow up and learn to make decisions on there own, and partying in turn helps them do that (Farrell 158). Farrell defines a party as a “social gathering for pleasure and amusement, and the college party is one of the oldest campus traditions, practiced and perfected for nearly the whole history of higher education” (159). In Farrell’s investigation of the college student’s lifestyle, he emphasizes why they party, when they party, where they party, how they party and the results of partying. This knowledge is crucial for parents, faculty, and administration to comprehend, in order to help them connect with today’s college students.
Why do college students party? This is a question that researchers, parents, faculty and administration continually try to answer and understand. Perhaps they should have consulted with Farrell. He would have told them that fun is the primary reason student’s party, as “College is a time for fun because American adulthood decidedly isn’t” (Farrell 164). Farrell is attempting to explain that the fun you have in college is an experience that will not last forever. Fun is more central in the process of deciding which college to attend than the academic qualities the college has to offer. When you go and visit a college, you are mainly informed on all of the academic assets of the college, but what the upcoming college students are focused on is what there may be to do for fun. The information they are really interested in is, what sports the college offers, fraternities and sorority involvement and what the key source of the fun at that college may be, such as all the good parties or the bars they could possibly get into underage. Parents are not only funding a college education they are also “[spending] thousand of dollars in the pursuit of [their child’s] fun” (Farrell 158). Moreover, Farrell states, “If actions are a measure of value, then college students value fun more than learning” (158). Our generation is more concerned about the opportunity of fun presented on the weekends than the consequences that could come from all the fun they are having. Farrell verbalizes that a child’s appreciation for a weekend begins with a Saturday morning cartoon as a reward of not having to attend school (164). The lesson of a weekend, though learned during childhood, is not disremembered with age; there is just a different reward. Technically, weekends are considered to be a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; nonetheless, recently college students make it a priority to have no Friday classes in order to extend there weekend, to have an extra night of fun. It is disappointing that our generation’s happiness is centered on the “fulfillment” of fun (Farrell 158).
Perhaps another key question asked by college faculty and concerned parents is when do college students choose to party? Many believe it is directly related to boredom. Farrell defines boredom as “mindless, listless tedium, brought on by a lack of stimulation or a lack of imagination; the primary social disease of college life often cured by TV, video games, pharmaceuticals, or fun” (164). Boredom and partying are a cause and effect situation, because when students are bored they choose to party. For example, society lives off of making money, beer companies know students watch television when they are bored so naturally they run exciting commercials relating to the...
Cited: Farrell, James J. “The Nature of Parties.” The Nature of College. Minneapolis: Milkweed editions, 2010. 157-175. Print.
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